Tag Archives: vision

Leading An Online Community

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18

With the advent of the Internet, and the emergence of social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, et al) online Christian groups and communities are springing up everyday! And effective leaders are needed to guide and manage these online networks.

Leading and managing online communities require three basic skill sets:

  • The ability to cast a vision.
  • The ability to nurture, listen to, and grow the community.
  • The ability to inspire the community.

The vision is key to any successful online community. Vision defines the desired or intended future state of that community in terms of its fundamental objective and/or strategic direction.  Without a vision, the online community has no objective or direction. It’s just out there, drifting aimlessly about, with no destination or goal. Plain and simple, without a vision the people perish! Proverbs 29:18.

A healthy online community is characterized by an active membership united by a shared purpose, with a passionate leader/facilitator, engaged in interlinking relationships between a significant percentage of its members.

The leader/facilitator is the face of the online community and should:

  • Engage the community.
  • Deliver a blog/ or media platform that’s useful to the community.
  • Create, gather, and share exceptional and relevant content (podcasts, videos, blogs, etc.).
  • Build relationships, especially with influencers.
  • Generate buzz.
  • Be passionate about the community.
  • Empower listening ability (e.g., using such tools as Google Alerts and Twitter Search) to ascertain the mood, needs and desires of the community.
  • Facilitate learning and education.
  • Grow the community.
  • Be an ambassador for the community.
  • Facilitate communications between members through comment sections, forums, chat, etc.
  • Be the guardian of the community.
  • Harvest insights and disseminate feedback from the community members.
  • Build actionable reports employing relevant metrics to measure success.
  • Keep the vision before the community.
  • Be real: authentic and transparent/ someone others can trust and relate to on a human level!

The online leader should be a good shepherd, constantly seeking guidance and direction from the Lord. 

What is your vision of an effective online community leader?

(Many thanks to Chris BroganRachel HappeMaria Ogneva , and Seth Godin in his book Tribes for some of the information and ideas cited in this post.)

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard


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Filed under blog, christian social media, Faith Based Media, networking, podcast, social media, uncategorized

Nailing A Successful Social Media Strategy

Just as any successful team needs an effective strategy to win, any ministry which wishes to successfully employ social media needs an effective strategy! Here are some basic strategic ideas for getting started. 

  • Establish a Vision – What is your purpose for using social media? Winning souls? Increasing church membership? Sharing information? Tightening group communications? The idea is to birth your strategy through the vision you have created.
  • Identify Your Audience – Who is your target audience? Youth? The Unchurched? Current church members?
  • Integrate – How does social media support other components of your ministry’s Internet strategy?  It should harmonize with the objectives of your website and other outbound communications efforts (e.g., email marketing, CRM, and SEO).
  • Culture Change –  How do you get your organization to own the social media strategy? How well does your ministry tolerate change?
  • Capacity – Who will implement the strategy? How much time each week can you allocate to implementation?
  • Tactics and Tools — What will be your home base? Will it be a website or blog? Dialog: This is about creating a conversation, i.e., engaging your audience. Maybe Advocacy is your goal: spreading information about your ministry via your social media platforms. Select the platforms that will work best for your vision, strategy, and  go where your target audience is.  I suggest you include, at a minimum, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a Blog (e.g. WordPress). And don’t forget to listen and learn from other online outposts. Harvest insights!
  • Measure Your Effectiveness – What hard data points or metrics will you use to track your effectiveness (# of event attendees, new members, or blog subscribers?)
  • Experiment – Pilot low-risk experiments to learn what works and what doesn’t!

Wishing you the very best in implementing your ministry’s social media strategy!

(Many thanks to Beth Kanter, blogger, Gary Hayes, Laurel Papworth, and Forrester – the POST Method for great ideas included in this post.)

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under blog, christian, christian social media, digital, Faith Based Media, ministry tools, social media, social media marketing